The US Air Force tests exoskeletons to reduce fatigue and injuries in ground operations

(To Staff)

Travis' US Air Force Base is serving as a test bed for a new exoskeleton in anticipation of extending its use to the entire military.

"Airports have a high rate of injuries. We are looking into this type of solution to help ground crews perform their duties more safely, helping to reduce the risk of injury." - with these words the technical sergeant Landon Jensen, non-commissioned officer of the US Air Force, described the tests of the new equipment.

"We started the evaluation due to the results of the Volpe report of 2019"Jensen added. "The Department of Transportation study focused on more than $ 31 million annually in disability benefits for retired airport workers."

"The project would have been impossible without the help of Arizona State UniversityIt focused on the development and production of the exoskeleton. Without the partnership we would not have been able to develop this technology. " said Lieutenant Aaron Cox, the Air Force program manager Life Cycle Management Center.

After a one-month testing period, the Airmen stated that the suits are a good investment and significantly reduce the workload.

"The main function is to help lift, but it can also be used in other ways", declared the airman of 1a Kyle Sunderman class. "These exoskeletons take away a lot of the physical exertion."

"There are details here and there that can be improved to make the devices easier to use, however there is no danger as they do not have greater user strength. They are lightweight and, if it weren't for the part around the waist, you would hardly notice you are wearing them. If necessary, I believe they can be used for long periods without problems. "- concluded the airman of 1a Xaviar Archangel class. 

The exoskeleton is still at the prototype stage but will continue to be updated.

Photo: US Air Force